Dad’s ticking time bomb

Dad in yet another bike race.
Dad used to race bikes being sponsored by a local outlet still trading today Harry Perry Cycles – Woolwich

Back in 2003, my dad was taken seriously ill when his aorta tore. Fortunately, he was taken to the hospital in time where they repaired the damage and inserted a stent. Little did anyone know, this was going to be that start of him steadily being poisoned by his own systems.

Fast forward to 2019, and about a month ago and the Ticking Timebomb showed itself, Dad passed a large amount of blood when visiting the toilet. Realising this wasn’t good, he contacted the doctors who immediately had him taken into hospital. After running various tests, they realised something serious was going on, and they would need to open him up to have a look.  It was soon discovered that the stent, along with the original repair, was heavily infected but that wasn’t the worst! The repair to the aorta had attached itself to the intestine and over time had effectively eaten into the intestine which, as you can imagine, caused a two-way flow, blood flowing directly into the digestive system but worst of all, faecal matter was flowing into his blood system.

The surgeons separated the aorta and intestine and cleaned up as best they could but little did anyone realise just how bad and extensive the infection was but after a week or so, dad appeared to be on the mend and was discharged from hospital. The plan was to give him antibiotics for the rest of his life to manage the infection rather than clear it up because apparently, that was not going to be possible it would require further surgery which would most definitely kill him. Dad was only out of the hospital a few days when he was taken back in again by ambulance just over a week ago. Dad’s condition had basically nose dived and was very poorly; it was then we learned that his brain had become infected.

In my opinion, dad was about 85% cognisant and could (I think) understand what was being said to him although you could only understand bits of what he was saying, most of it was gibberish a bit like a stroke victim.

Last Thursday I spoke with a doctor on the phone who said that I should get to the hospital as soon as possible because they didn’t think he would last the night. When I arrived he was in a terrible state, his breathing was like someone who couldn’t get their breath with the added problem of what sounded like fluid in the lungs plus you could tell his brain was basically on fire we called his his Vicar and Dad was given what in effect is the Church of Englands ‘Last Rites’. The following day my brother called me, fully expecting him to say dad had passed away my brother said that not only was dad still alive but he was sat up, talking (Gibberish), he’d had some dinner and pudding and had asked for a bedpan! I was gobsmacked! Sadly, it was false hope. He steadily went downhill Friday and Saturday, and when I visited Sunday, he was very agitated. They had tried dialysis but after one and a half sessions his body just wouldn’t accept the treatment so that meant that on top of the infection his blood was now toxic too!
The whole family was there on Sunday including my cousin, who I’d not seen for probably thirty years! We tried to make dad as comfortable as possible and agreed to start a very low dosage (2.5) of morphine. The doctors advised us that they thought he had three days left but that he wouldn’t see the week out and so with that in mind I planned to have a bit of a break and visit him on Wednesday. While getting ready for work this morning, I had the dreaded phone call at around 6:15, the hospital had contacted my brother with the sad news my father had passed away. As you can imagine, I was stunned. I was speaking with him only 12 hours earlier, OK, so he said he was in the boot of a car upside down, but it was a conversation even if it was strange.

Death is a funny thing like that, you can’t get your head around how you can be speaking with someone one minute, and they are gone the next.

I’m now officially an orphan given my mum passed away two years ago in September so I suppose that will mean yet another number in my mobile phone I won’t be able to bring myself to delete.

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